The 14th annual Rencontres Cinematographiques de Beaunewrapped up on Sunday (Oct 24) after three days of debates which welcomed scores of Frenchand American talent as well as new MPAA president Dan Glickman.

The Rencontres is organisedby French writers, directors and producers' association ARP, and eachyear reunites industry and political heavyweights in this Burgundy town todiscuss issues currently facing the film business at home, at the Europeanlevel and abroad.

Glickman was in town on his first official trip outside theUS since replacing Jack Valenti six and a half weeks ago. Valenti had been afixture at Beaune: sometimes the target of French ire in the face of Americanhegemony and more recently as a beloved and respected Hollywood ambassador.

By all accounts, Glickman got off to a good start with theFrench, telling that hewas 'impressed with their passion' when it comes to combatingpiracy. He also charmed the audience when, sitting on the panel of a discussionabout piracy titled 'A New Alliance Between Internet Service ProvidersAnd The Film Industry,' he said he was enjoying, 'the food, thehospitality and especially the wine.'

In a joint statement released during the weekend, Glickmanand French culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres 'welcomed thedialogue launched in France, under the aegis of the government, betweenprofessionals of the cinema and internet sectors,' and said that theyhoped a joint action plan would soon be created to 'develop legal offers onthe Internet, ensuring proper remuneration for all actors in the creativeprocess; establish joint education campaigns to explain the danger of piracyand steer the general public towards legal services; and to plan commonmeasures to prevent and fight audiovisual piracy.

Other notable names present included American director BettyThomas, American screenwriter Ron Bass and French director Bertrand Tavernierwho spoke about the differences between copyright systems and the right tofinal cut in France and America.

At the close of the conferences ARP released a statementthat hailed the inscription of the principle of cultural and linguisticdiversity into the European Union treaty and also applauded the work begun byUNESCO to adopt an international convention which would also aim to protectcultural diversity. The convention could be adopted in 2005.